How about a little Halloween howl? With the witching hour approaching, we'd like to share with your some tricks and treats for having a scary good time this weekend.
Let's start with the treats!
This month, we hosted a Halloween pet costume photo contest on Facebook. We had so many fun and wonderful entries, that is was really tough to choose just one winner - so we chose two! Here's the two winning entries:
Cock-a-doodle-doo! Yellow Lab Acadia as a Rooster, submitted by Sabrina Young.
That's just nuts (as in Peanuts)! Retired guide Jasper as The Great Pumpkin, puppy raiser Miranda Loughry as Snoopy/the WWI Flying Ace, and Lab/Golden cross puppy-in-training Kingston as Linus. Submitted by Andrea Loughry.
And how's this for a sweet treat? Follow the link below to watch a segment from CBS-13 in Sacramento, Calif. featuring a puppy raising club's outing to a local pumpkin patch:
And finally, the tricks. Remember that Halloween can be spooky - especially for your dog. Here's a few tricks and tips to guarantee a happy and healthy Halloween for your pooch:
- Walk your dog before trick-or-treaters start their rounds. If you are out-and-about in areas with dressed-up hooligans, make sure to keep a firm grip on the leash; many dogs are frightened by people in costumes.
- Make sure your dog is wearing an up-to-date I.D. tag.
- Find a secure place in your home to keep your dog, especially when you're passing out candy to trick-or-treaters. Dogs can easily get loose when the door opens, and the presence of little (and big) costumed people often scares animals, increasing the chance dogs will run away or get hit by cars. Consider using a baby gate at your front door that will keep the dog inside, even if the door is opened.
- If your dog has any aggressive tendencies, fear of loud noises, or a habit of excessive barking, place him in a quiet room as far away from your front door as possible.
- Consider crating your dog, which can make him feel more secure and reduce chances of accidental escapes. Provide him with chew toys, a favorite blanket, or whatever will provide him with comfort and distraction.
- If you want to have your dog near the door to greet visitors, keep him on leash. Pets can become very stressed by holiday activities and unwelcome interruptions in routine. A nervous dog might feel threatened and growl, lunge or bite.
- Keep dogs indoors. It's a bad idea to leave dogs out in the yard; in addition to the parade of holiday celebrants frightening and agitating them, you'll also face the threat of taunting, poisonings and pet thefts. Plus, a dog is likely to bark and howl at the constant flow of treat-or-treaters.
- Make sure pets can't reach candles, jack-o-lanterns, decorations or ornaments.
- If you like to dress up your dog for the holiday, keep in mind that Halloween costumes can annoy animals and pose safety and health hazards. Make sure the dog can breathe, see and hear, and that the costume is flame retardant. Remove any small or dangling accessories that could be chewed and swallowed. Avoid rubber bands, which can cut off the animal's circulation or, if accidentally left on, can burrow and cut into the animal's skin.
- Explain to everyone in your home (including kids) how dangerous treats are to pets. Store candy supplies out of reach and caution children about leaving candy wrappers on the floor.
- Keep your dog out of the candy bowl. Dispose of candy wrappers immediately in (they can cause choking or intestinal obstruction), and make sure the dogs can't get into the trash. Note: Chocolate contains theobromine, which can cause nerve damage and even death in dogs. The darker the chocolate, the more concentrated it is -- and the smaller the lethal dose.
- If you notice these symptoms of chocolate poisoning, call or visit your veterinarian right away: Excessive drooling or urination; pupil dilation; rapid heartbeat; vomiting and diarrhea; hyperactivity; muscle tremors and seizures.